While dogs may be one of the most popular pets on the planet, they do require a fair amount of training, teaching and looking after as well as love and affection! Socialising your new dog is a very important part of its' growth and lets you be sure that your dog will play nicely with other dogs - and humans.
The mistake that most make however is that they believe you only need to socialise a puppy at a young age and the dog is good forever. This is a common misconception however, as you will need to keep socialising the dog (though to a lesser extent), during its adulthood.
All it involves is letting your new puppy experience lots of new places, people, animals and situations as possible in a positive way, to enable them to feel relaxed when the unknown or unconventional comes along.
How To Socialise A Puppy
This is the most important time for your dog's socialisation as dogs become more wary of new experiences as they get older, and during growth is when the most neural connections are made (as with humans or any other animal), so learning is taken in quickly and set for life. 12 weeks is a good average standard for when dogs start to become more cautious.
This is a time when you will want to do as many new things as possible with your puppy, and it might be handy to create your own checklist of things your dog might encounter in later life! You'll need to take your puppy out and about and into new places (while of course looking after them), as well as meet new people of all kinds, vehicles, babies, and anything else you think they may encounter in later life!
How To Socialise An Adult Dog
As long as your dog has been properly socialised from a puppy, your dog will stay fairly socialised, as long as you continue to take your dog out and allow it into places. Some things to do might be to take it into parks to be around other dogs, place it into a doggy daycare occasionally, visit a dog-friendly park or invite your friends over with their dogs and let them play!
You could also find places to socialise them by using the social dog app. Nowadays, everything is digitalised. A way you can socialise your dog is included. Using a social dog app, you can connect with local doggo communities. In Australia, you can try PatchPets, Australiaís first social dog app designed to help you socialise your fur babies with other dog lovers. Download PatchPets now for free on iTunes Social Dog App and Google Play Social Dog App.
How To Introduce Dogs To Dogs
Firstly, make sure that both dogs are on a leash so they are both protected if one of them decides to be aggressive. Next, one of you should walk in front of the other, rather than approach head on, as this could be a very emotional way for the dogs to meet. You want to help your dog relax and calm them even if they are barking manically, keep moving and slowly let them sniff each other as they are walking.
Avoid standing still as this could create a stand-off, if they want to start playing, don't allow it just yet as you still have them on leashes and they could become tangled, turning the situation bad. After a little while of allowing the dogs to sniff each other, once you can feel they are relaxed, you should walk side by side instead of single file so that they can have more direct contact.
How To Introduce A Puppy To An Older Dog
For introducing a puppy to an older dog you want to follow much of the same steps, except you will want the older dog in front of the smaller one so that the puppy doesn't feel scared or shocked by the larger one behind it.